Original ArticleAnodic Plasma Chemical Treatment of Titanium Schanz Screws Reduces Pin LooseningNeuhoff, D DVM*; Thompson, R E PhD*; Frauchiger, V M PhD†; Ganser, A DVM*; Steiner, A DVM, Diplomate, ECVS‡; Ito, K MD, ScD* Author Information From the *AO Research Institute, Davos, Switzerland, the †Dr. Robert Mathys Foundation, Bettlach, Switzerland, and the ‡Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Berne, Berne, Switzerland. Accepted for publication March 23, 2005. Partial funding of this study was provided by KTI MedTech (grant number 4729.1), Robert Mathys Foundation, and Stratec Medical. The device that is the subject of this manuscript is not FDA approved and is not commercially available in the United States. Reprints: Dr. Rosemary Thompson, PhD, AO Research Institute, Clavadelerstrasse, CH-7270 Davos Platz, Switzerland (e-mail: [email protected]). Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 19(8):p 543-550, September 2005. | DOI: 10.1097/01.bot.0000164592.96724.a9 Buy Metrics Abstract Objective: This study was designed to assess the benefits of a new Anodic Plasma Chemical calcium-phosphate (APC-CaP) surface treatment on reducing pin track infection and pin loosening in comparison to anodized titanium (Ti) during external fracture fixation. Methods: A tibial midshaft, transverse, 6-mm gap osteotomy was created in 17 adult female Swiss alpine sheep. The tibia was stabilized with an external fixator and 4 Schanz screws of Ti or APC-CaP-treated Ti. The sheep were examined during a 12-week observation period. Infection was assessed with weekly clinical pin track grading and microbiologic assessment at sacrifice. Pin loosening was assessed by grading for radiolucency on biweekly radiographs and by measuring extraction torque on pin removal. In vivo bending stiffness measurements were performed to determine gap healing. A qualitative histologic assessment of the tissue adjacent to pin sites was also performed. Results: A trend (P = 0.056) for less infection around APC-CaP pins was found at 6 weeks, but the strength of this difference diminished with time. Significantly more radiolucency was found around Ti pins after 8 (P = 0.011) and 12 (P < 0.001) weeks. At all pin sites, the extraction torque for APC-CaP pins was higher than for Ti pins (P = 0.007). No difference in the progression of gap healing was found. Histology showed bone growth at the implant surface in the form of distance osteogenesis for Ti and contact osteogenesis for APC-CaP. Conclusions: This study has shown that the APC-CaP surface improves the clinical performance of Ti pins with respect to pin loosening and pin track infection. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.